Postgame Quotes - North Carolin 89, Georgia Tech 88
Release: 02/16/2017


North Carolina 89, Georgia Tech 88 Ÿ February 16, 2017 

North Carolina Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell

Opening Statement

“We always have great games with Georgia Tech because they’re so physical, and tonight was no exception. I was proud of our kids for being tough out there and making adjustments. It was very physical, like it always is. I was really proud of Jamie [Cherry] and Paris [Kea] and Stephanie [Watts], and our freshmen are coming around. Taylor [Koenen] did well. We had all three of the freshmen post players in there at one time or the other. They’re growing up. They’re learning. We needed this. They’re great kids. Our team chemistry is tremendous. Our practices are good. They’re working hard. I told them to keep working hard and have a good attitude, and great things are going to happen. It’s exciting to think about how good they’re going to be in the future. We have no seniors, and Jamie is our only junior. We’ve got some really good kids coming in. Down there, when we had that timeout at the end, Jamie comes to me. She says, ‘I want the ball.’ That’s what I like. I like for players to have that kind of confidence. We were setting a screen for her, and we were putting the shooters in the corners. I just told her to read it and come off of there. We were going to go for the win, not the tie. That’s just the way I think. There’s a reason I call it a Cherry bomb. I’ve been doing that since she was a freshman because she’s made some big shots in some big games like that. I’m really proud of them and the effort that they all gave down the stretch. That was big for us against a very good and physical Georgia Tech team.”

On the development of her freshmen post players

“Very seldom do you get seasoned, established post players that come out of high school. Usually you have to find potential and then develop them as they get into college. All three of those kids, we saw a lot of potential in them. We’ve just been really drilling them. The other kids have given them a lot of confidence. I just want them to score more when they get the ball in there.”

On Jamie Cherry, Paris Kea, and Taylor Koenen playing all 40 minutes

“They’re tough. Olivia [Smith] went in there and played whenever Stephanie was out because she was limited with her minutes. There at the end, we saved up some minutes and time for her to go in there. We needed her [Stephanie] in there at the end. Stephanie’s tough. She’d be out there on one leg. She’s got a situation, a bad bruise, and it’s not going to get any worse, but it hurts. The only way it’s going to get better is to rest, but she’s sucking it up and sacrificing. That’s why she’s in categories of scoring with the ACC. She’s probably going to be a strong candidate for All-American before she graduates.”

Jamie Cherry, G

On hitting the game winner

“I wanted the ball. I felt like I should’ve hit that fifteen-footer because I was wide open. My teammates told me to not hang my head and not to worry about it. When the opportunity presented itself, I told Coach Hatchell to give me the ball, and I would make it this time, and I made it.  I was going to hit it. She probably would’ve expected it if I had dribbled up any more because I was pretty deep out there. I have definitely been in the gym putting up shots to be able to hit shots like that.” 

On her progression as a leader

“In high school, I couldn’t do this at all. When I got here, the coaches gave me the confidence, especially the game against Ohio State my freshman year. That was big for me, for them to put me in the game in that situation. I think it was mainly the coaches and my teammates building my confidence up to be able to take those shots.”

Stephanie Watts, G

On Jamie Cherry’s leadership

“It means a lot. She’s just all over the place. She’s a vocal leader, leads by example, leads by talking to us, keeping us focused in the game. At the last few seconds, she’s the one saying ‘We’re going to win this game’. She’s really helpful and inspirational for us.”

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